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HFE genotypes and dietary heme iron do not interact in increasing serum ferritin in middle-aged women

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a disorder characterized by inappropriately high intestinal iron absorption. In populations of Northern European descent, HH is most commonly caused by mutations (C282Y/H63D) in the HFE gene. We investigated the effects of dietary heme iron intake and HFE mutations on serum ferritin concentrations in a population-based random sample of 1611 women aged O50 years using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). Higher heme iron intake was associated with significantly higher serum ferritin concentrations (Ptrend !0.001).

Also, women with the compound or C282Y homozygous genotype had significantly higher serum ferritin concentrations (geometric mean 115.2 mg/L (95% CI 81.4e162.9 mg/L) than women carrying normal alleles (geometric mean 76.6 mg/L (95% CI 72.5e80.9 mg/L).

We observed the highest serum ferritin concentrations among postmenopausal women who are compound heterozygous or C282Y homozygous, and who consume relatively high amounts of heme iron (geometric mean 183.9 mg/L (95% CI 97.2e347.8 mg/L).

Conclusion: No evidence of strong gene-nutrient interaction on serum ferritin concentrations in middle-aged women.

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UMC Utrecht
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